Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

February 14th, 2018 Comments off


I’ve always believed MHI does the bidding of the big manufacturers and now REIT communities,” said an email from a state association leader with ties to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) to the Daily Business News.


It was a comment sent in connection to a forwarded news tip from another state association.  That message and related commentary about it from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – in reaction to the message – will be the focus of a report planned for Thursday, 2.15.2018.

The answer is for the states to rebel [against MHI],” said the same state association source. “But they [other states, beyond those that have already quit] won’t for reasons I’ve only lately understood.”

That reason? The association leader explained.

Why does Clayton [Homes] dominate many state association? Attrition. The decline in independent retailers who used to dominate the states.  AZ has lost 60% of their retailers since….wait for it…2011.”

The message went on with more details to MHProNews, that if published may reveal the source.


Another Source Comments

 A state association with close ties to Clayton and MHI sent a message out to a number of board members.

One (or more…) sources connected to that board forwarded the message onto MHProNews, as news tips.

That’s what the source above was reacting to, with the comments published above.  When another independent industry operation from yet another state was shown the message, and asked to react, that company president said to MHProNews,They think they own us.”

Industry readers are reminded of what the Atlantic and IBISWorld predicted in 2011.  Note what took place in the state mentioned above since that date? A reported 60 percent additional decline in independent retailers.



How Much for Selling Out to Clayton…?

 Industry retailers who have sold out to Clayton Homes, or have discussed a Clayton buyout have told MHProNews that the Knoxville metro based company “doesn’t pay much” for their business.


The main thing they [Clayton] do for you is if you stay and manage the sales center for them, you’ll sell more homes with VMF’s [Vanderbilt] lending.  They show you how VMF buys deals that 21st [both owned by Berkshire Hathaway] won’t.”

Zero Down Payment – not Land in Lieu – Manufactured Home Chattel Lending Program

That’s a complaint reported on previously by the Daily Business News, as the report linked above reflects.


“Lost Dealers,” Means Lost Independent Production Companies

 MHProNews  previously reported an MHI document, shown below, which reveals how many independent producers have been “consolidated since 2011.


Notice that the number of production centers has held pretty steady for the years the statistics reflect, but the number of independently owned producers are 1/3 lower during that same timeframe.


Some independents believe if “the Feds” or other legal action don’t step in with an anti-trust action against Berkshire Hathaway, even more companies will be lost in the near term.

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

One of several points missed by the recent Urban Institute report on why manufactured housing isn’t doing better is precisely because there are fewer independent retailers, and producers than even a few years ago.

Former Clayton manager Ken Corbin called it the “10,000 [retailer] drop.”

Ken Corbin “the 10,000 Drop,” points to Industry Woe, Causes of Manufactured Housing’s 10 & 20 Year Collapse?

As an independent told MHProNews today, he knew many independents that closed or sold out for “nickels on the dollar,” adding three words. “Tragic, and heartless.”

We Provide, You Decide.” ©  ## (News, analysis, and linked commentary.)

NOTICE:  Watch for a Special Report on HUD’s reaction to Claims Attributed to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) , planned for Tomorrow, 2.15.2018.



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Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

December 21st, 2017 Comments off


Executive Summary:

  • Choke off enough lending options,
  • drive out enough manufactured home retailers,
  • and you’ll witness a increasing number of  producers of HUD Code manufactured housing fail,
  • and/or those independent retailers and producers will be forced into a ‘consolidation’ with larger companies.

As “Smoking Gun? Part 1” outlined, companies as large as Champion and Fleetwood previously were (they were #1 and #2 for years), both ended up filing bankruptcy in the wake of this credit contraction.


If MHI had the solutions that they claim, would the industry have seen the kind of slides witnessed since 1998?

If the prior MH Industry giants went broke, is it any surprise when other more modest manufactured home production companies failed or had to sell out to others too?

Questions, Questions…

  • Was it mere chance?
  • Was it dumb luck that favored 21st, Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and Berkshire Hathaway?
  • Was it part of a longer-term plan?
  • Or was Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway taking advantage of a tragic opportunity to squeeze smaller companies?
  • Isn’t this second 21st document, signed by Tim Williams, another clear case of 21st favoring Berkshire Hathaway?  Didn’t it do so in manner that led to what Maxine Waters and others across the political spectrum to call them a “near monopoly,” per her prior statements?  See one linked further below.




For those who’ve not read “Smoking Gun?” Part 1, it will be useful to read that related document, also signed by Tim Williams, as it provides a more in-depth report on this highly-impactful industry controversy.

“Perverse”–Warren Buffett-Dodd-Frank, CFPB, Manufactured Housing, Loans, Independent Businesses Fact Check$

The Atlantic/IBIS World

Also, those who may not recall – or need a refresher – on the 2010 Atlantic’s article, which was based in part upon IBISWorld research, they asserted that independent manufactured home retailers were among the most dying American industries. Note that nuance projection proved to be correct: independent retailers failed by the hundreds.




Or as former Clayton manger, Ken Corbin put it, there was a “10,000 retailer drop.”

Ken Corbin “the 10,000 Drop,” points to Industry Woe, Causes of Manufactured Housing’s 10 & 20 Year Collapse?

Have Clayton and their sister operations magically turned one disaster after another into an opportunity in disguise to pressure and consolidate other operations evermore?

Field Reports – Clayton to Continue Push for Industry Dominance

  • A Harvard University researcher MHI cited projected that manufactured homes was going to be poised to supersede conventional housing. Eric Belsky wasn’t and isn’t alone, as the example below documents.  Why doesn’t MHI refer to this document any more?

At the time Belsky made this then MHI cited prediction, manufactured homes were selling some 250,000 new units per year. This year, we as a ‘recovering’ industry will reach about 1/3 of that total. What happened?

Bloomberg, HousingWire, Realtor and Fox all suggest Manufactured Homes as Important Solution for Affordable Housing in America

  • NAR and other researchers have documented a need for 8 million affordable housing units,

NAR’s Yun – No Quick Fixes Spell$ Manufactured Housing Opportunitie$

  • How can the Berkshire Hathaway dominated Manufactured Housing Institute say they’ve done a good job of protecting and promoting the industry? Why did they make obvious mistakes, that sources say benefited Berkshire Hathaway’s consolidation efforts?

Manufactured Housing Institute VP Revealed Important Truths on MHI’s Lobbying, Agenda

  • Aren’t they at least de-facto agents for those consolidating of the MH Industry that MHI is claiming to protect?

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

Newspaper Names Clayton Homes, Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton In “Swamp After Storm” Post-Disaster “Corruption”

See linked reports for more details.

“Accurate, but Misleading” MHI Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Alert – ‘Weaponized New$,’ Fact Check$

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

MHI, Clayton, 21st, VMF – Ready to Go On the Record Again? 

We’ve used the exact words of the players involved to show the alleged patterns.   Is there any need to do more than look at the facts, and draw reasonable conclusions?

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

We are hereby once more inviting MHI and/or the Berkshire Hathaway manufactured housing units to respond, preferably via a live discussion via video which the entire industry can see.  As regular Daily Business News readers know, they have routinely declined comment for months.

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) SVP Rick Robinson Ducks Serious Industry Questions in Deadwood

But as regular readers also know, the ongoing spotlight has force MHI into a number of pivots from their prior public positions.

MHARR vs. MHI on DOE Energy Rule, Pushback Pay$ Off?

MHProNews would also welcome their written response to the concerns and documents these articles have raised.  Otherwise, there is the old English maxim, “Silence indicates consent.”

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ProperPlanningUnderstandingMotivationDisciplineTimeTalentTreasureExecutionPreventsPoorPerformanceLATonyKovachManufacturedHomeMarketingSalesManagementBy L. A. “Tony” Kovach. 

Managing Member, LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – parent company to MHLivingNews, MHProNews and the business development and expert professional services provided

Field Reports – Clayton to Continue Push for Industry Dominance

September 26th, 2017 Comments off

Logos are the properties of their respective organization, and are shown here under fair use guidelines. Collage credits,

The Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews has been told by informed sources that Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes plans to increase their industry dominance in the retail sector.

Strategies to accelerate their dominance will be accelerated in the coming months, per sources in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), among independents and those within Clayton’s team.

Related: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Clayton Homes Latest Buyout Move

Related: Regulation Nation – Manufactured Housing Associations, Companies and Professionals

In Tulsa, Oklahoma’s ‘manufactured home row,’ the majority of the HUD Code retailers there are now corporate stores, instead of independents.  The buyout by Clayton of award winning Home Mart is just accelerating the process that the Atlantic projected in a story that sparked controversy a few years ago.


A growing number of retailers are selling out to Clayton Homes, as MHProNews has been reporting.

Now those concerns and report comes on the heels of word that Clayton’s manufacturing ‘doesn’t have a choice,’ per high level sources within Clayton Homes, but to provide homes for disaster relief to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Bob Crawford, Dick Moore Housing.

That says award-winning retailer Bob Crawford, “…all of us independents are going to feel that hit and, depending on your suppliers, that could be a BIG hit,” the message to MHProNews read.

Related: FEMA, Clayton – Growing Threat to Independent Non-Corporate Companies from Omaha


There are several reports of how independents are planning to – or already are – adapting to the growing “threat” of Berkshire Hathaway’s dominance of the manufactured housing industry, including at the retail and production levels.


MHI has been dominated by Berkshire Hathaway owned units, along with former Clayton executive, Joe Stegmayer led Cavco.  The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has published a list of concerns about Pam Danner that numbers over 2 dozen “Abuses” points, see that, linked here.  While MHI claims to oppose Danner’s over-reaches, industry observers note that MHI has dodged the obvious solution of asking for Danner to be removed from her current role over the manufactured housing program at HUD.

Neither MHI nor Clayton has yet responded to MHProNews about these growing industry concerns.


Warren Buffett, right, credit Wikipedia. Tim Williams, right, credit, LinkedIn. Collage credit, MHProNews.

That will be the focus of upcoming reports on the MHProNews. ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

FEMA Disaster Relief Deadline Extended in Louisiana

October 17th, 2016 Comments off
Louisiana Flood damage, August 2016. Credit: BBC

Louisiana Flood damage, August 2016. Credit: BBC

According to a report from KATC TV, the deadline to apply for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) disaster benefits in the wake of the floods in Louisiana has been extended to November 14th.

Credit: Twitter.

Credit: Twitter.

fema logo_t175_b1-black

Credit: FEMA.

60 days after the historic flooding, FEMA provided updated statistics revealing that an estimated seven trillion gallons of rainwater was dumped across southern Louisiana from the August storms. That is more than four times the amount of water in Lake Pontchatrain, according to KATC.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, we have provided extensive coverage of the storm, the fallout from it and the MH industry response.

More than 150,000 individuals and families have registered for FEMA disaster assistance to date. Survivors can register with FEMA by going online, calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362, or downloading the FEMA mobile app.

Over $695 million in disaster assistance has been provided by FEMA, with $559 million of that being housing assistance to help flood survivors with temporary housing solutions and rebuilding of their home.

To date, 448 applicants have been reportedly licensed into manufactured housing units.


Credit: The Atlantic, Floodlist, CBS News.

As the Daily Business News reported last week, FEMA issued a formal solicitation for “off the lot” manufactured homes.

The concern for FEMA in seeking manufactured homes from retailers is that manufactured homes being produced by FEMA contractors may not be finished in time to meet the current demand in Louisiana and the potential need in multiple states due to Hurricane Matthew. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.


As More People Live on the Edge, Payday Lenders Provide Valuable Service

May 14th, 2016 Comments off

payday_loans___istockphoto___creditAccording to Neal Gabler, writing an article entitled The Secret Shame of Middle-class Americans in the May issue of The Atlantic, a Federal Reserve study from a year ago reports that nearly half of Americans would be hard-pressed to come up with $400 in an emergency—and he includes himself in that category. He says bad credit is pervasive, eleven percent of the U. S. adult population are credit invisible and 56 percent have credit scores below 700.

Incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living, especially in health care and education, causing more people to live on the edge. William M. Isaac tells MHProNews in americanbanker the payday lenders provide an essential service, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) upcoming rules on short-term lending could have unintended consequences for millions of people facing financial emergencies.

The CFPB is proposing lenders do an ability-to-pay assessment because of concern over improperly formulated credit contracts that could lead to the loss of a car, or creation of a cycle of debt.

However, the CFPB may exempt some loans from closer scrutiny if the payment is no more than 5% of gross income. But Isaac points out gross income does not take into account household expenses, other debt or other monthly expenses. He suggests using the Credit Card Act of 2009, whereby lenders have to utilize “reasonable written policies and procedures to consider the consumer’s ability to make the required minimum payments under the terms of the account based on a consumer’s income or assets and a consumer’s current obligations.”

Without access to some form of emergency credit, consumers could lose their cars, jobs and essential services. But noting the advance of big data innovation and machine learning technologies, Isaac is certain that more credit products will be geared toward the nonprime customer market, a demographic that seems to be growing.

In the worst case scenario that might result from payday lenders being driven out of business, MHProNews understands people who cannot obtain legal credit may turn to criminal behavior. ##

(Photo credit: istockphoto)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

ROC USA’s Paul Bradley wins Jerry Voorhis lifetime achievement award for role fostering Cooperatives

November 4th, 2014 Comments off

paul-bradley-jerry-voorhis-memorial-award-2014ROC USA® President Paul Bradley was recently honored with the National Association of Housing Cooperatives’ (NAHC) Jerry Voorhis Award.

The Voorhis is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes significant leadership in both theory and practice. Jerry Voorhis was a five-term U.S. Congressman from California who lead the National Cooperative Business Association, known then as the Cooperative League of the United States of America.

The award is presented annually by the NAHC. The NAHC is a national federation of housing cooperatives, mutual housing associations, other resident-owned or controlled housing, professionals, organizations, and individuals interested in promoting the interests of cooperative housing communities.

Incorporated in 1960, MHProNews learned that NAHC is the only national cooperative housing organization.

What an honor,” Bradley said last week from his Concord, N.H., office. “Jerry Voorhis was a real force in the cooperative housing world and even being mentioned in the same context with him is a thrill.”

For more details, please see the press release, linked here. ##

(Editor’s Note: An exclusive interview, A Cup of Coffee with...Paul Bradley, is linked here.)

(Editor’s Note2: Paul Bradley was recently interviewed byThe Atlantic, please see that topic, linked here.)

(Photo Credit: ROCUSA.)